Review: TMed Pharma Medical Foods

I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company. 

The TMed Pharma review consisted of taking three medical foods daily for three months – Sentra AM® (for management of fatigue and cognitive disorders), Sentra PM® (for management of sleep disorders) and Theramine® ( for management of pain disorders and inflammatory conditions). Two capsules each of Sentra AM® and Theramine® in the morning and two capsules each of Sentra PM® and another two of Theramine® at bedtime is the recommended dosage.

I have carpal tunnel syndrome, cervical disc degeneration disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic pain, and fibromyalgia so these seemed great products for me to trial. But I will admit adding eight capsules a day to the multitude of medications and supplements I already take daily was daunting. This was also my first time trying medical foods so I was unsure of what to expect.

I signed on for this review shortly before going on a ten day vacation. I received my first package of the medical foods while I was away and started the trial two days after returning. 

The eighteen hour drive home (plus fuel stops, rest stops, meal breaks and an overnight stay in a motel) as well as the changes of humidity levels, temperatures and a time zone precipitated a fibromyalgia flare. I was in a lot of pain, exhausted and unsure this was a good time to start a new regimen for review purposes. However, I definitely recommend road trips with others with chronic issues. They are much more understanding of our health issues and needs.

I quickly discovered it was a great time to begin using these products. Within a few doses my pain levels lowered and within a week the flare ended. My pain levels stabilized, my sleeping patterns improved and I started to feel better. I was even lucky enough that my pain levels stabilized at a lower level than pre-flare!

My only problem with the regimen was I frequently had heartburn after the morning doses. I think it was a combination of the medical foods and what I typically eat for breakfast on weekdays. I believe this to be the case as when I had other foods for breakfast the heartburn lessened. A few Tums Smoothies® quickly resolved the heartburn most days.

Overall, my use of these three medical foods was positive and I would be happy to continue their use except for the fact that a new medication for my newly diagnosed anxiety and depression exacerbates the heartburn. The heartburn increased to the point I seriously considered ending my trial early but decided I could continue on for the remaining week. I would definitely recommend these products to others suffering from cognitive disorders, fatigue, inflammatory conditions, pain disorders, and sleep disorders.

In the week or so since completing the protocol I have already had my pain levels increase, discovered my new medication is still causing heartburn, disrupting my sleep and I have started my annual Autumn into Winter Fibromyalgia Flare.

More information on Sentra AM®, Sentra PM® and Theramine® can be found on the TMed Pharma website, http://www.tmedpharma.com . The company also has a medical team on staff available to answer concerns and questions.

Review: FibroCane Relief

Disclosure: I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.

FibroCane Relief I’ve been trialling FibroCane Relief for a few weeks now. My pain tends to be widespread so I wasn’t sure the homeopathic pain gel would be of help. At first I just used it on pain points such as my neck and shoulders. Then one day about ten minutes post-application I realized my hands didn’t hurt. I hadn’t realized they hurt until the pain was gone.

Last week on a really bad pain day I used it and felt a relaxation of the knots quickly. Within a few hours my pain level had decreased and the knots were gone. Yesterday, after lifting plants closer to the window and overextending my reach a few times, my right shoulder and elbow were pretty sore. I rubbed on some Relief and truly did feel relief. My tender upper arm stopped hurting and the pain in my shoulder and elbow were much improved.

I will definitely keep using this product and am grateful to FibroCane for giving me the chance to try it. I’m glad a little goes a long way; this tube should last me a few months!

Review: MedNexus

In the spirit of full disclosure, I am receiving compensation by MedNexus for this review.

MedNexus is a new medical search engine for patients that weeds out the magnitude of sites to direct the patient to the most reputable sites offering the best, most up to date information. MedNexus can be found on Facebook and on Twitter.

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I worked in the health care industry for 22 years, ending with 12 years in the health records department. I also have multiple chronic illnesses. I have used the Internet extensively to find medical information for both personal and work needs. I wish a site of this caliber existed years ago!

MedNexus has advisory boards (business; Medical; and Scientific) in place to guide them in filtering the available information. They have extensive Privacy and Terms of Service policies in place. The website is mobile responsive and as easy to use on my tablet as my laptop.

Searching for diseases is simple and provides a number of results. Diseases have Explained, Diagnosis, Treatment, Management and Risk Factors sections. This area is a work in progress; not all have this section, at least a few of my more rare disorders are not set up yet. Searches result in Health Topics; Published Research; Ongoing Clinical Trials and Forum Discussion.

I searched nine of my medical conditions including the treatment of my thyroid cancer doing ten searches in total. All ten provided great results in all categories. Common terms are used and medical terms clearly explained. All matched up with my understanding of my conditions baring in mind I did not go into each and every search result. Some had hundreds of Health Topics and thousands of Forum Discussions!

I am very impressed with MedNexus. The founders, Nathanael Geman and Kevin Ann, have done a wonderful job. I would definitely recommend this search engine to my blog readers, family, friends and old coworkers. I will certainly tell my three family members who work in different departments of our local health centre about them.

If you give MedNexus a try they would appreciate your filling out their survey to help them continue building a great site!

Review: FibroCane

Disclosure: “I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.”
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My package from Premier Bioceuticals arrived on Feb. 17th but my trial of the FibroCane Daily Dietary Supplement and Serenitea began on Feb. 18th. I started by trying out the supplement on it’s own. I wanted to see if used singly would have effect or if the products would need to be used in conjunction.
I started to take the supplement on February 18, in the morning. It is about the same size tablet as most multivitamins. I added in the tea on February 23, in the evening. The tea has a pleasant flavour I enjoyed. The Serenitea helped me fall asleep but I still slept restlessly. The supplement has helped. I have more energy and less fatigue. I had a few flare ups while taking the supplement and found that my pain levels and fatigue levels were lower than when I was not using FibroCane during flares. I must admit I kept aside some of the Serenitea for future use on nights of insomnia or difficulty falling asleep. I found both products of help in managing my fibromyalgia.
I had an appointment with my family physician during the review period. I brought both products with me. She had no objection to my using them in addition to my normal medications. Her only complaint is also mine: the label font size makes reading the Supplement Facts section difficult as it is such tiny letters. While I understand the small font was to used to fit all ingredients on the label the legibility issue could pose problems for customers on multiple supplements. It made ensuring I was not already taking another supplement containing the same ingredients more difficult.
I would and do recommend both these products. I hope to use them again in the future.

Review: DIY Writing Retreat

Today’s review is on the short e-book, DIY Writing Retreat by Alicia De Los Reyes.

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I’ve never been on a writing retreat. But after reading this book, I’d like to go away from it all and just write for a few days.

Alicia gives simple instructions on everything from what foods you may want to bring, things to do on breaks, to writing prompts. A summary at the end lists your accomplishments.

Now, I’m trying to figure out where and when I can do a DIY Writing Retreat!

A Monday Magazine Review – Knitscene Winter 2014

Knitscene Winter 2014
Knitscene Winter 2014

25 knits are in this issue.

The Daring  to Design column features Emma Welford. She has four designs, Haubergeon Sweater, Cuirassier’s Cardigan, Ornate Greaves and Gothic Gloves in this issue. I like the Haubergeon Sweater; at first glance its a simple sweater. Then you see the sleeve detail. The Ornate Greaves are interesting looking leg warmers! I wonder if I could modify the Gothic Gloves into mittens. It should be a simple mod. I like the look and the colour work but it’s the fingers again! Emma is transitioning from full-time employment to full-time designer. If these four designs are any indication of her talent she should have no difficulty!

The Purbeck Pullover by Beatrice Perron Dahlen has a purl detail I really like. And its seamless construction is a plus.

Zsuzsa Kiss‘s Carrara Shawl is gorgeous but the yardage!!! Maybe if I substitute out the double-strand of lace weight for another.

I like Annie Watts‘s Siena Mittens. I like how she created the striping pattern. It’s a great use of leftovers or mini skeins.

Paros Hat by Robin Allen is interesting. I think I might knit this one but not in grey and lime!

Kristen Orme‘s Kolmården Jacket is another which uses double stranding of two colours to create a marled look. This may join my queue too.

The Scene features Tolt Yarn and Wool in Carnation, Washington owned by Anna and Greg. I wish I lived much closer to the west coast. It sounds like an amazing store. And she’s opening an online store soon! They have a store-brand Tolt yarn spun from their own sheep! And are working on another. This new one will be a Clun Forest/BFL cross and was due to be ready for their first anniversary on Nov. 9th.

Ooh, I really like the colour work and cable combination in Ravenna Cowl by Katya Frankel! It’s definitely queue material!

Ann McDonald Kelly took the beginning mosaic knitter in mind when designing the Neon Mosaic Scarf! The colour work is only on the ends with a solid middle. Ann has written an article on mosaic knitting using this scarf as an example for the magazine as well.

Thyri Pullover by Hilary Smith Callis is classic with the twist of long cuffs and thumb holes. This one may be on the needles soon.

Wendy Bernard‘s Lise Hat and Armwarmers are also designed for beginning colourworkers.

Blogspotting features Norwegian blogger Matilde Skår. Matilde has been blogging since 2005. She can be found at www.xn--matildeskr-95a.no and there’s an English translation option for those of us that don’t read Norwegian. She blogs the process of making things, small dyi projects, knitting, jam making and everyday life.

This was another successful magazine purchase. There are several patterns I’m interested in knitting.

A Monday Magazine Review – Knit Simple Holiday 2014

There are are no links in this post. I tried repeatedly last night but WP would no cooperate. It kept deleting the entire post. I finally restored my original link-free version and gave up. I’ve been working on it for more than an hour.

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The cover claims 38 Fun Knits; and the best gifts ever! Let’s see what’s inside…

The Knits + That column has some great gift ideas for your gift list:
The Tess Della Q bag at 14″ tall can hold a good size project.
Knitter’s Pride Knit Blockers will make blocking straight edges a breeze.
Lo-Lo Lov sampler set of Lo-Lo Bars by Bar Maids contains five minis of your choice of scents.
Winter Knitter notecards and Yarn Ball with Needles gift tags by Knitterella look adorable.

This issue profiles Meredith Crawford of the One Sheepish Girl blog www.onesheepishgirl.com. I really want the tassels in the photograph of her desk! The profile tells of her journey from starting to knit and crochet in her junior year of university to starting her blog in 2010 to recently releasing her first book, Crochet with One Sheepish Girl.

The Knit Simple Team has put a lot of thought into the holiday theme! The pattern descriptions include gift ideas to accompany the knit! What a great idea!

#5-Seed-Stitch Bag by Annabelle Speer is a tote I think I will be making soon. For me, I think. It’ll be my first time lining knits with fabric. It makes the tote much more usable.

#6-Notions Bag by Matthew Schrank is described as a notions or pencil case. I’m thinking it would make a nice makeup bag for a teenager’s purse. Maybe for one of my nieces…

I like #13-Sleeveless Shell by Mari Lynn Patrick. I’ve never seen the Eros II by Plymouth Yarns though. I wonder what could be used  a substitute…

#14-Ruffled Shawl by Lori Steinberg is gorgeous! I want!

The trio of cushions, #15-Cabled Pillows by Annabelle Speer, use the same cable to make three distinct cushions that go well together without being too matchy matchy.

This month’s KS Workshop is Learning the Ropes of Loom Knitting. I don’t own any knitting looms so I kinda skimmed past this bit.

A baby layette makes up #20-22. Veronica Manno designed the textured blanket; Rosemary Drysdale, the Baby Hat and The Baby Cardi.All three are adorable. I can see making these in the future. The Cardi goes to three years which would fit my great-nephew. I may try to size up the hat for me!

There are lots of hats in this issue. And pompoms! There’s pompom patterns and tutorials. They’ve inspired me to take another look at those bits and bobs of leftovers. I think I could make some cute pompom projects!

The magazine ends with a goodbye essay by the departing Art Director, Emily Jones.

A Monday Magazine Review – Make it! Knits

image This is a new special edition magazine from the Editors of Interweave Knits. The cover states it contains 33 quick, easy, cool knits! It’s a re-compilation of patterns and articles from Interweave Knits and Knitscene geared towards newer knitters. Most of the patterns use worsted to bulky yarns.

Interspersed throughout are articles on reading patterns, working from charts, knitting in the round, and determining yardage requirements.

Lodi Cardigan by Tanis Gray is a classic top-down worsted-weight raglan cardigan. It’s mostly stockinette with some garter elements. I may add this one to the queue.

The Brazel Beret by Katya Frankel, has cables, bobbles and lace in worsted-weight yarn.

Kirsten Kapur’s Oana Shawl is a fringed lace shawl worked in worsted-weight wool. I’m not sure about the fringe but otherwise I like it.

Erica Jackofsky’s Knuckle Down Mitts are simple and unisex. They may be too brief and short for my northern climate except for late spring and early fall. But I will be making these.

The Wavy Lace Capelet by Cecily Glowik MacDonald is perfect for work on those days the temperature control just can’t keep up. In super bulky wool it should knit up quickly!

This one is definitely going on my needles soon, Annie Watts’ Leadville Cowl. Half ribbing and half lattice cable in bulky baby alpaca/merino/silk-it looks so warm and scrumptious.

Maria Leigh‘s Flamboyant Shawl is a queue contender. Knit side to side then picking up stitches for the border means it could easily be knit with coordinating or contrasting colours rather than in one single colour.

The Overdyed Ragg Scarf by Nancy Shroyer must be worn by a very tall model! At 97 1/2″ it’s half again my height!!! It’s knit with three colours/375 yards of Aran weight. I like the look of the colour blocking and the lace but I need to seriously shorten it or use a smaller weight yarn.

The Amstel Hat by Courtney Kelley has an unusual cast on I’ve not heard of. Nonetheless I am interested in the look of the hat. Have you heard of the Emily Ocker cast on method? Thankfully it’s in the glossary in the back. It doesn’t look difficult.

When I read these were previously published patterns I was afraid I may have wasted $10.99 CAD. But apparently I’m further behind in purchasing or maybe reading Interweave magazines. Most of these are patterns I’ve seen only on Ravelry. I’m glad I purchased this one and may get a second copy for my neice’s stocking this Christmas. She’s learning to knit and I can see her being interested in some of these patterns.

A Monday Magazine Review – Knit Today Oct. 2014

Knit Today - October 2014
Knit Today – October 2014

This magazine is published in the UK. The cover states there are 89+ patterns, tips and ideas within!

The Voortrekker Monument story is inspiring! 657 blankets made of thousands of squares covered the Monument steps to promote yarn locally processed and produced in South Africa. It must have been an amazing sight!

I can’t wait to see what new design house Conway and Bliss (Teresa Conway & Nell Bliss) come up with. I’ve just followed them on Instagram and Twitter. http://Instagram.com/conwayandblissknits https://Twitter.com/conwayandbliss

I like Pure and Simple Stripey Top by DMC LINK. It’s made in cotton but I’m seeing it in a wool blend. With six colours it could go with everything in a capsule wardrobe. And it’s an easy beginner knit!

The Bright Ideas Striped Socks LINK by Rhian Drinkwater are adorable. Am I the only one that wonders at the practicality of purls on top of feet? Wouldn’t it be an irritant?

The Bird Garland by Angela Turner LINK is wonderful. I can see these as a mobile and tree ornaments as well!

I like the Vines and Stripes Fingerless Gloves LINK by Kyoko Nagayoshi. But the thought of knitting fingers gives me goosebumps. Even short ones like these. Maybe I could mod them into fingerless mitts instead? They’d be great colourwork practice.

I love the Shamrock Striped Cardigan LINK by Ruth Maddock! With elbow-length sleeves it’s perfect for this too hot for long sleeves but too cold for short sleeves autumn days.

The tutorial this month is Setting In Sleeves Made Simple. It still looks complicated to me but my only sweater is a bottom up Raglan.

Waterloo Sunset Lace Sweater is breathtaking! LINK by Louisa Harding. I love this colourway! Especially in this sweater!

I want to make the 3 Quick Knits set by Julie Ferguson LINK. The pencil case would make a fabulous notions pouch.

I need to go back and complete the crossword puzzle. I knew quite a few of the answers in my skim through.

The Autumn Afternoon Cropped Cardigan would be near perfect if not for being cropped. It’s by Sarah Hatton LINK and should be easily lengthened for those of us that won’t wear cropped this time around.

Overall I liked this issue and would purchase it again. If it weren’t for the perfect extras I’d have bought the digital version and saved some money though. But I really like that knitting gauge!

Knit Today extras
Knit Today extras